Curriculum, Books, and Supplies
For me, I need a specific curriculum to use as a guide, and the beauty of the one that we’re using is that it checks the boxes of language arts, fine arts, geography, poetry, etc all in one. The lessons are super short each day.
I used to have tons of artist, poet, composer, etc books and we never used them! Now we can check them out from the library or search online for them. I don’t have to own all the things.
I’m using The Good and the Beautiful for language arts. I’m going to try to dig deeper when they are super interested in something or if they are struggling. The beautiful thing is, curriculum is something I teach, not something I buy!
Good and Beautiful language arts covers phonics, reading comprehension, grammar, writing, poetry, art appreciation, and geography. We also use cursive handwriting. This is done in short lessons each day and usually only covers one or two things each day.
I was using The Good and the Beautiful for science but found it too complicated. Instead, we are doing nature studies… studying birds using The Burgess Bird Book, a Simply Charlotte Mason guide to go with that book, nature journals, Handbook of Nature Study, Nature Anatomy, and Kaufman Field Guide to Birds of North America.
For history we are using the living book, Story of the World.
For math, we are using Math U See. It’s going SO well for my hands-on, multi-sensory boys.
I used to have shelves and shelves full of books and curriculum. Lots of curriculum stressed all of us out, and the kids didn’t read most of the books. They prefer choosing their books from the library. I kept my favorite (and their favorite) classics and good chapter books, novels, and picture books and got rid of the rest! I also buy used whenever possible. I do buy books to go with our science and history sometimes.
The school room is actually my office. I just added a table and took all of the books out of the attic and put them back into this room. I kept everything else the same. Also, there are a couple of baskets. One is for the boys’ binders and journals, and the other is for their library books.
It’s a very cozy and restful place to be, and I want that for the boys as well. There’s always a diffuser always going, candles lit, lamp light and Christmas lights, beautiful things on the walls, and a simple white board for the boys to use. There are two windows with beautiful curtains that we either keep closed or open based on our moods.
Ethan placed coffee cups for each of them on their table with pencils, pens, dry erase markers, etc on it.
I created this Nature + Art Center and I love it. It has all of our nature study books, nature journals, water colors, colored pencils, drawing pencils, watercolor notebooks, construction paper, notebook paper, charcoal paper, etc. Underneath is our nature basket where we keep all the things that we love that we find around our property. We are truly blessed.
The Heart of Our Homeschool (as a Minimalist Homeschooler)
Charlotte Mason inspired. Living books (as much as possible), dictation, copywork, narration, nature studies, etc.
Relaxed homeschooling. Taking lots of deep breaths. Using essential oils. Drinking hot tea. Yoga. Outdoors. Enjoying each thing that we do as much as we can. Truly teaching from rest.
Frugal homeschooling. Using free things as much as possible. Buying used whenever I can. Using the library and the internet. Using what we already have. I am using free pdf’s and bought used things from my friend. These are just some examples.
We will be doing read alouds, Poetry Teatime, Free-writes, Nature studies, Reading Response, etc regularly. The boys will get to choose which books they read independently instead of me assigning them books because I want them to enjoy reading. I’m okay with them reading graphic novels, silly books, etc. I am not stuck on them reading only classics or anything of the sort. I will introduce the classics eventually; in the meantime, I want them to think of reading as a joy. Many of the books in our library are really good books. While Charlotte Mason teaches about not reading “twaddle” and I try to follow her methods, I allow it for my boys to some extent.
All homeschoolers do their best for their families!
I consider us a Wild + Free family. Wild+Free is basically a community where we let kids be kids and play outside and in nature. As I learn more about it, I will share here. I’m still learning!
I have an amazing basket in the corner of our living room because that’s where we do our morning time. It’s full of our read aloud, The Story book, Story of the World book and activity book, a beautiful book about plants, my bible and quiet time journal, pens, etc.
Since we’re just getting started, I expect things to change over time. As I feel like things aren’t working, I will make adjustments. That’s the beauty of homeschooling. I hope you’ll follow along on our journey!